Choosing a contractor to do your flooring is often a long and complex decision-making process. Because you will essentially be trusting the contractor you choose with your property, it is important to first ensure that they are the right person for the job. But if this is your first time hiring a flooring contractor, whether that’s Orlando flooring or flooring anywhere else, you may not be sure about what to know before hiring one. That’s why it is always useful to have a checklist of questions to consult every time you talk to a potential contractor.
To make things easier for you, we’ve put together the 9 essential questions that should be on your checklist.
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
Your and your property’s safety should always be the first thing to consider when you start calling up contractors in your area for a potential project. Contractors who install flooring should be licensed, insured, and bonded. To do the work, contractors should be legally licensed by your state to confirm that they are skilled enough and have undergone the proper procedure to call themselves a contractor. Being insured and being bonded are similar in that they protect both the homeowner and the contractor (including their crew). Being insured means that if there were any accidents to happen on your property, you would not be liable for those damages. Similarly, a bond is a kind of insurance policy that can hold accountable contractors who either leave a job incomplete or that use poor workmanship on the job.
- Are you licensed to perform the specific work I need?
It is one thing to have a general license to perform flooring installations. But it is another thing entirely to be licensed, insured, and bonded to work on jobs that require special skills such as plumbing and electrical work. For example, if the project you need to be done is in the kitchen or in the bathroom, there needs to be someone licensed to perform the necessary plumbing and electrical work on the job. Otherwise, you may be left with unlicensed and unskilled plumbing and electrical work that could risk your safety.
This is an extremely important question to ask so make sure to take note of it.
- Can I contact past clients as references?
Past work and experience are very important to know about before you hire a contractor and there is no better way of learning about it other than simply contacting their clients. And when you finally get on the phone with past clients, ask about the quality of the work, how long it has been since the project was completed, what the crew was like, how they left the property when the job was over, as well as the cost for the entire project. This is your chance to really learn more about your contractor when they are not trying to sell you their work, so take advantage of this opportunity to ask the questions that matter most to you.
- How much will the entire job cost?
The keyword here is “entire”. You do not just want to know that the flat rate of it is, but you want to know what it will cost you once materials and other things are factored in. Take note of the cost they give you and compare it to the other contractors you are considering. If much higher than the rest, ask what necessitates such a high rate. If much lower than the rest, be wary of a scam.
- In what circumstances will the cost of the job rise?
Unforeseen things can happen during a flooring installation and you should be prepared for that. Asking your contractor this question can help give you an idea of what kind of things might go awry and cost you more. It will also help you understand how their cost is calculated and if there is anything you will have to take into account. While it may be tempting, do not be taken in by a contractor who assures you that the price is fixed and will never rise. This shows that they are not realistic about jobs and that they may just be planning to do a bad job of it.
- What is the timeline for this kind of project?
Flooring installations, whether flooring in Orlando or elsewhere, can be time-consuming as well as costly. Many people forget to consider the duration of a project, especially if the flooring you want is complex, but you need to take your own plans into account. Do you have a holiday planned? Or maybe it is approaching deep winter? Knowing the estimate for the job can help you plan out the project as well as your own day-to-day life.
- Who is responsible for the clean-up after the project?
This may sound obvious to you but your contractor should be responsible for cleaning up a site after the project and clearing out the dust. But while it may sound obvious to us both, there are actually many contractors who do not do cleanups even when they leave your house a wreck. So before any of it starts, make sure you ask from the very beginning who will be responsible for the clean-up. Weigh the costs of going with a contractor who does their own clean-up and one who does not.